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Larvae define spawning habitat of bocaccio rockfish Sebastes paucispinis within and around a large southern California marine reserve

Citation Information: MEPS 465:227-242 (2012) - doi:10.3354/meps09926

Authors: Sean M. Hitchman, Nathalie B. Reyns, Andrew R. Thompson

Abstract: Identifying sources of larval production and subsequent dispersal paths is critical for evaluating the efficacy of marine protected areas. We assessed whether the Cowcod Conservation Area (CCA), the largest oceanic reserve in the Southern California Bight (SCB), established to conserve cowcod Sebastes levis, protects essential spawning habitat of another overfished rockfish, bocaccio S. paucispinis. To this end we investigated relationships between age-specific (recently hatched, preflexion and postflexion) larval distribution and abundance, environmental indicators (temperature, chlorophyll a), and depth between 2002 and 2004. Larval presence was consistently higher in the CCA than in surrounding areas of the SCB. Abundances of bocaccio larvae from all size classes peaked in 2004, which had relatively low sea surface temperature and high chlorophyll a. Depth and sea surface temperature or chlorophyll a were significantly related to the presence of recently hatched larvae, which were most common in cooler western CCA waters where chlorophyll a tended to be highest. In contrast, later stage larvae were not significantly related to depth, indicating that they had been advected from natal locations. Examination of current patterns and the distribution of older larvae suggested that the direction of larval transport varied among years, with mostly northwestward transport in 2002, a cyclonic recirculation feature that may have retained larvae within the CCA in 2003, and southwestward transport in 2004. These results demonstrate that spatial and temporal oceanographic heterogeneity affect larval distribution and transport in this region. We conclude that the CCA protects essential bocaccio spawning habitat and is an important source of bocaccio production in the SCB.

Implementing ecosystem-based management: evolution or revolution?

Citation Information: Fish and Fisheries; Volume 13, Issue 4, pages 465–476, December 2012

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2011.00452.x

Author: Fikret Berkes

Abstract: As a dominant paradigm, ecosystem-based fisheries have to come to terms with uncertainty and complexity, an interdisciplinary visioning of management objectives, and putting humans back into the ecosystem. The goal of this article is to suggest that implementing ecosystem-based management (EBM) has to be ‘revolutionary’ in the sense of going beyond conventional practices. It would require the use of multiple disciplines and multiple objectives, dealing with technically unresolvable management problems of complex adaptive systems and expanding scope from management to governance. Developing the governance toolbox would require expanding into new kinds of interaction unforeseen by the mid-twentieth-century fathers of fishery science – governance that may involve cooperative, multilevel management, partnerships, social learning and knowledge co-production. In addition to incorporating relatively well-known resilience, adaptive management and co-management approaches, taking EBM to the next stage may include some of the following: conceptualizing EBM as a ‘wicked problem’; conceptualizing fisheries as social-ecological systems; picking and choosing from an assortment of new governance approaches; and finding creative ways to handle complexity.

Sustainability and economic consequences of creating marine protected areas in multispecies multiactivity context

Citation Information: Journal of Theoretical Biology; Available online 10 November 2012; In Press, Uncorrected Proof

Authors: T.K. Kar, Bapan Ghosh

Abstract: The present study deals with harvesting of prey species in the presence of predator in a multispecies marine fishery. The total habitat is divided into two patches: one is reserve area where fishing is completely banned and other zone is called fishing area where only prey is exploited. We assume that the prey fish possesses heterogeneous intrinsic growth rate with uniform carrying capacity where as predator has constant intrinsic growth rate with prey dependent carrying capacity. The analytical conditions are derived to prevent the species extinction for larger employed effort in single (only prey) species fishery. Optimal equilibrium premium are presented for both monospecies and multispecies fishery for all degree of protection. Increasing standing stock (ISS) and protected standing stock (PSS) are measured in the presence of prey–predator interaction.

Spatial Heterogeneity in Fishing Creates de facto Refugia for Endangered Celtic Sea Elasmobranchs

Citation Information: Shephard S, Gerritsen H, Kaiser MJ, Reid DG (2012) Spatial Heterogeneity in Fishing Creates de facto Refugia for Endangered Celtic Sea Elasmobranchs. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49307. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049307

Abstract: The life history characteristics of some elasmobranchs make them particularly vulnerable to fishing mortality; about a third of all species are listed by the IUCN as Threatened or Near Threatened. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been suggested as a tool for conservation of elasmobranchs, but they are likely to be effective only if such populations respond to fishing impacts at spatial-scales corresponding to MPA size. Using the example of the Celtic Sea, we modelled elasmobranch biomass (kg h−1) in fisheries-independent survey hauls as a function of environmental variables and ‘local’ (within 20 km radius) fishing effort (h y−1) recorded from Vessel Monitoring Systems data. Model selection using AIC suggested strongest support for linear mixed effects models in which the variables (i) fishing effort, (ii) geographic location and (iii) demersal fish assemblage had approximately equal importance in explaining elasmobranch biomass. In the eastern Celtic Sea, sampling sites that occurred in the lowest 10% of the observed fishing effort range recorded 10 species of elasmobranch including the critically endangered Dipturus spp. The most intensely fished 10% of sites had only three elasmobranch species, with two IUCN listed as Least Concern. Our results suggest that stable spatial heterogeneity in fishing effort creates de facto refugia for elasmobranchs in the Celtic Sea. However, changes in the present fisheries management regime could impair the refuge effect by changing fisher's behaviour and displacing effort into these areas.

The role of behavioural flexibility in a whole of ecosystem model

Citation Information: van Putten, I., Gorton, R. J., Fulton, B., and Thebaud, O. The role of behavioural flexibility in a whole of ecosystem model – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fss175.

Abstract: The predictive accuracy of complex fisheries models developed to anticipate the effects of changing fishery regulations appears to depend on a solid understanding of the processes and feedback systems linking biological and physical information to resource user. Many fisher decisions are modelled in the human component of the models, including inertia, or location choice flexibility. We unpack a whole of ecosystem system model and explore how location choice flexibility in fleet behaviour (sticking to the same seasonal and spatial distribution of fishing) affects outcomes such as catches and income levels and variability. Our analysis shows that the interpretation is not straightforward, and the relationship between behavioural flexibility and income level and income variability has to be considered in the context of three main fleet characteristics: profitability; how diversified the fleet is; and growing or declining target species biomass. We contend that making behavioural flexibility sensitive to the health of the stock and fleet profitability could potentially improve accuracy of large whole of ecosystem models such as Atlantis.

Conclusions and Recommendations from the Expert Workshop on the Assessment of Socio-Economic Impacts in Recreational Fishing - the Caribbean, a Beginning

The Expert Workshop on the Assessment of Socio-Economic Impacts of Recreational Fishing – the Caribbean, a Beginning, was held in Santa Marta, Colombia on 4 November 2012. The Workshop was co-organized by the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and The Billfish Foundation (TBF). The Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) facilitated the workshop arrangements. The workshop was attended by experts from 8 countries and territories as well as Working Group founding- and partner institutions.

The workshop was the first major activity of the joint WECAFC, Organization for Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA), Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC) Working Group on Recreational Fisheries. This joint Working Group was established by the 14th session of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), held in Panama City, 6 -9 February 2012, in recognition of the increasing importance of recreational fisheries in the sustainable development and management of fisheries the Caribbean region.

Recreation and the “Right to Fish” Movement: Anglers and Ecological Degradation in the Florida Keys

Citation Information: Environmental History (2012) doi: 10.1093/envhis/ems110

Author: Loren McClenachan

Abstract: Marine environmental history has exposed the nuances of long-term change in productivity, technology, and economics of commercial fisheries but, to date, has paid less attention to the relationship between environmental decline and recreational fisheries. Fishing for fun is commonly considered a low-impact pastime, and anglers are heralded as conservationists, despite evidence that recreational fishing has substantially reduced populations of vulnerable nearshore fish. This essay explores the role of anglers in the decline and conservation of marine fish populations by examining the history of sportfishing in the Florida Keys. Both recreational and commercial fishers contributed to overfishing in Florida over the last century through direct extraction of fish, but recreational anglers drove declines by propagating a myth that abundant fish persist that everyone deserves a chance to catch. In the last two decades, marine angling groups have created a “Right to Fish” movement that supports legislation to protect their perceived fishing rights. The movement has obstructed effective conservation policy and encouraged continuing pressure on an exhausted reef ecosystem. Such political activism among marine anglers stands in stark contrast to the tradition of conservation-minded sportsmen, who have supported habitat protection and areas closed as reserves on land and in freshwater. As attention to marine environmental history grows, marine recreational fisheries should continue to provide abundant material for analysis of the relationship between conservation and sport, as well as among tourism, economic decline, and environmental change.

How Scientific Does Marine Environmental History Need to Be?

Citation Information: Environmental History (2012) doi: 10.1093/envhis/ems109

Author: Christine Keiner

Abstract: Over the past decade, marine environmental historians have begun to mobilize the major themes of “traditional” environmental history—wilderness and the frontier—to provide insight into our neglected oceans, and the changing nature–culture interactions therein. Yet while practitioners of environmental history, with its powerful focus on landscapes of the American West, have assimilated scientific perspectives to varying degrees, the same is not true of marine environmental historians. Because scientific research has permeated political, cultural, and economic understandings of saltwater and freshwater resources over the past 150 years, analyzing human relationships with watery geographies during the modern era requires critical dialogue between the natural and social sciences. However, as essential as biology, physics, chemistry, anthropology, and the history and sociology of science are for elucidating key questions of marine environmental history, we must guard against creating barriers for those without formal training in science or in fields providing critical perspectives on science. Given the tensions that have risen between historians and scientists in innovative initiatives to improve marine management, moving toward mutual goals requires a closer look at the positioning of marine environmental history vis-à-vis science in particular and academia overall.

A roadmap for marine spatial planning: A critical examination of the European Commission's guiding principles based on their application in the Clyde MSP Pilot Project

Citation Information: Marine Policy; Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 265–271

Authors: Wesley Flannery, Micheál Ó Cinnéide

Abstract: The European Commission has developed a set of common principles for marine spatial planning in the European Union. A critical examination of these principles in practice is undertaken through an evaluation of the Clyde Marine Spatial Planning Pilot Project. The principles are found to be lacking in specificity and somewhat inconsistent with the ecosystem based approach, which they advocate. Lessons for new marine spatial planning initiatives, relating particularly to stakeholder participation, governance, data requirements, objective setting, and skills and knowledge needs, are derived from the Clyde Pilot.

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Stakeholder Participation in Marine Spatial Planning: Lessons from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Citation Information: Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal; Volume 25, Issue 8, 2012; pages 727-742

DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2011.627913

Authors: Wesley Flannery & Micheál Ó Cinnéide

Abstract: Stakeholder participation is advanced as a key element of marine spatial planning (MSP) by the U.S. Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. It provides little guidance, however, regarding stakeholder participation. We argue that much can be learned from existing ecosystem-based marine management initiatives. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, which utilizes an advisory council to facilitate stakeholder participation, is evaluated in this article with a view to identifying key lessons for new MSP initiatives. A set of criteria, derived from collaborative planning theory, is employed to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach. The advisory council meets some criteria for effective stakeholder participation but is found to be lacking in key elements, including shared purpose and interdependency. Benefits associated with stakeholder participation are constrained accordingly. Deficiencies in the design of the council and its decision-making procedures, requiring attention in order to facilitate more effective stakeholder participation in new MSP initiatives, are highlighted.

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Large scale marine protected areas for biodiversity conservation along a linear gradient: cooperation, strategic behavior or conservation autarky?

Citation Information: Environmental and Resource Economics; Volume 53, Number 2 (2012), 203-228, DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9559-1

Authors: Maarten J. Punt, Hans-Peter Weikard, Ekko C. van Ierland and Jan H. Stel

Abstract: In this paper we investigate effects of overlap in species between ecosystems along a linear gradient on the location of marine protected areas (MPAs) under full cooperation, strategic behavior and conservation autarky. Compared to the full cooperation outcome, both strategic behavior and conservation autarky lead to under-investment in biodiversity protection. Under strategic behavior, however, we observe the additional problem of “location leakage” i.e. countries invest less in species protected by others. Conservation autarky eliminates location leakage; in ecosystems with partly overlapping species compositions at country borders it even induces MPAs that are too large from a global perspective. We also find that, in our setting of a linear gradient without migrating species, countries focus their conservation efforts on species unique to their own country and that these species are relatively well protected compared to common species. 

Paradox of marine protected areas: suppression of fishing may cause species loss

Citation Information: Population Ecology; Volume 54, Number 3 (2012), 475-485, DOI: 10.1007/s10144-012-0323-8

Authors: Nao Takashina, Akihiko Mougi and Yoh Iwasa

Abstract: A number of fish and invertebrate stocks have been depleted by overexploitation in recent years. To address this, marine protected areas (MPAs) are often established to protect biodiversity and recover stocks. We analyzed the potential impact of establishing MPAs on marine ecosystems using mathematical models. We demonstrate that establishment of an MPA can sometimes result in a considerable decline, or even extinction, of a species. We focus on a prey–predator system in two patches, one exposed to fishing activity and the other protected (MPA). Our analyses reveal that the establishment of the MPA can cause a reduction in prey abundance, and even extinction of the prey. Such unintended consequences are more likely to occur if the predator species is a generalist and if the MPA is intended to protect only the predatory species. Further, a mobile predator that migrates adaptively rather than randomly is associated with a greater reduction in prey abundance. 

Assessing Risk and Uncertainty in Fisheries Rebuilding Plans

Citation Information: University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics; IME WORKING PAPER 107/11

Authors: Urs Steiner Brandt, Niels Vestergaard

Abstract: This paper deals with risk and uncertainties that are an inherent part of design-ing and implementing fisheries rebuilding plans. Such risk and uncertainties stem from a variety of sources, biological, economic and/or political factors, and are influenced by external factors like changing environmental conditions. The aim of this paper is to characterize such risks and uncertainties and to as-sess the importance of it in relation to the performance of fisheries rebuilding plans, to give some examples where uncertainties have negatively affected the ability of rebuilding plans to reach their intended targets and to give some guidelines how to deal with risk and uncertainties. The conclusion is that when designing fisheries rebuilding plans, it should be taken into account the availability of relevant information, such that progress is (indisputable) measurable, and causes of potential failure can be clarified. Rebuilding plans need to consider biological, economic and distributional consequences in order to reduce uncertainties and to ensure successful implementation of the plan. Risk communication is also valuable in the process, since it gives transparency of the objectives and means to meet these objectives, elucidates crucial information from stakeholders and legitimates the whole process of designing and implementing the rebuilding plans, which is essential for the success of these plans. To that end the plans should be as simple and realistic as possible. It is recommended to apply risk analysis and to use the precautionary principle only in cases where large uncertainties exists and/or potentially high costs exits of ignoring the uncertainty cannot be resolved. Two fisheries rebuilding plans are analysed and how they address risk and uncertainties are evaluated. This study was done under contract with the OECD. The authors are grateful to Gunnar Haraldsson and Saba Khwaja for comments and advise.

User-based financing of marine protection in the Maldives

Citation Information: Working Paper - South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) 2011 No. 57-11 pp. 18 pp.

Authors: Bhat, M. G.; Bhatta, R. C.; Shumais, M.

Abstract: Maldivian atolls are known for their beautiful coral structures, fish abundance, white sandy beaches, coastal vegetation and mangroves. This paper provides an economic valuation of the recreational uses of atoll-based marine resources in the Republic of the Maldives. We use a travel demand model to estimate the benefits of atoll-based marine tourism. We contribute to the literature by estimating two separate travel demand models - one without and one with endogenous costs. Our results suggest a large disparity between the amount of economic value generated from nature-based tourism and the amount going into atoll conservation. Currently, more than half the Maldivian government's annual environmental protection expenditure comes from unstable international aid, which makes it imperative that more stable financing sources be found. Our study shows that transferring four percent of the total annual recreational benefits from visitors as a one-time conservation fee would generate enough resources to cover government and foreign donor contributions towards environmental protection. The additional per tourist tax or user fee necessary to raise funds at the current level of conservation funding (domestic and overseas) is USD 41. This amount constitutes only a small percentage of what an average tourist spends on each trip (1.25 percent) and the economic surplus (benefit) s/he derives from each trip (3.98 percent). The paper concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of sustainable user-based financing mechanisms.

Economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by coastal habitats in Finland, Sweden, and Lithuania

Citation Information: Department of Economics and Management, University of Helsinki 2011 No. 57 pp. 34 pp.

Authors: Kosenius, A. K.; Ollikainen, M.

Abstract: Marine benthic habitats in the Baltic Sea provide ecosystem goods and services that are a source of a variety of benefits for citizens living in littoral countries. Sustainable coastal management and regional planning need monetary estimates of benefits associated with marine ecosystems to be set against the profits from the economic use of marine ecosystems. We employ the choice experiment method to estimate the economic value of policy changes in Baltic marine habitats in two coastal areas: the Finnish-Swedish archipelago and the Lithuanian coast. In the survey, respondents from Finland, Sweden, and Lithuania stated their preferences for improvements in marine characteristics chosen in conjunction with ecological changes modeled within study areas. Among citizens, the factor analysis revealed both supportive and opponent attitudes towards further marine protection and differences in perceptions for the importance of particular marine ecosystem services. The recreational aspect was notably more important in Lithuania than in Finland and Sweden. The nested logit analysis resulted in the willingness-to-pay estimates for the Finnish-Swedish archipelago that are considerably higher among the Swedish than the Finnish population. Due to site-specificity, the willingness-to-pay of the Lithuanian population cannot be compared with those of the Finnish and Swedish population.

Threats posed by artisanal fisheries to the reproduction of coastal fish species in a Mediterranean marine protected area

Citation Information: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science; Volume 113, 10 November 2012, Pages 133–140

Authors: J. Lloret, M. Muñoz, M. Casadevall

Abstract: Artisanal fisheries are frequently considered as a sustainable activity compatible with the conservation objectives of marine protected areas (MPAs). Few studies have examined the impacts of these fisheries on the reproductive potential of exploited fish species within the marine reserves. This study evaluated the potential impact of artisanal fishing on the reproduction of coastal fish species in a Mediterranean MPA through onboard sampling from January 2008 to December 2010. Eleven sex-changing fish species constituted an important part of the catch (20% overall and up to 60% of the total gill net catch) and, in five of them, most individuals were of one sex. Artisanal fishing can negatively affect the sustainability of those coastal fishes showing sex reversal, particularly the protogynous ones such as Diplodus cervinus and Epinephelus marginatus, as well as the species with complex mating systems (e.g. some sparids, labrids and scorpaenids). In all species the average size for the individuals captured was above the minimum landing size (where this exists), but in four species (Conger conger, Diplodus puntazzo, Sphyraena spp. and Sparus aurata) it was below the size of first maturity (L50). Results show that sex and size selection by artisanal fishing not only can have an impact on the reproduction of coastal fish species but may also be exacerbating rather than reducing the impact of fishing on coastal resources. Thus, new management actions need to be urgently implemented in the MPAs where artisanal fisheries are allowed to operate in order to protect the reproductive potential of these species, particularly those showing a complicated reproductive strategy.

Indian Ocean warming modulates Pacific climate change

Citation Information: PNAS November 13, 2012 vol. 109 no. 46 18701-18706

Authors: Jing-Jia Luo, Wataru Sasaki, and Yukio Masumoto

Abstract: It has been widely believed that the tropical Pacific trade winds weakened in the last century and would further decrease under a warmer climate in the 21st century. Recent high-quality observations, however, suggest that the tropical Pacific winds have actually strengthened in the past two decades. Precise causes of the recent Pacific climate shift are uncertain. Here we explore how the enhanced tropical Indian Ocean warming in recent decades favors stronger trade winds in the western Pacific via the atmosphere and hence is likely to have contributed to the La Niña-like state (with enhanced east–west Walker circulation) through the Pacific ocean–atmosphere interactions. Further analysis, based on 163 climate model simulations with centennial historical and projected external radiative forcing, suggests that the Indian Ocean warming relative to the Pacific’s could play an important role in modulating the Pacific climate changes in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future

Citation Information: THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001; 2012

ISBN: 978-0-309-25594-3

Authors: Committee on Sea Level Rise in California, Oregon, and Washington; Board on Earth Sciences and Resources; Ocean Studies Board; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

Description: Tide gages show that global sea level has risen about 7 inches during the 20th century, and recent satellite data show that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating. As Earth warms, sea levels are rising mainly because ocean water expands as it warms; and water from melting glaciers and ice sheets is flowing into the ocean. Sea-level rise poses enormous risks to the valuable infrastructure, development, and wetlands that line much of the 1,600 mile shoreline of California, Oregon, and Washington. As those states seek to incorporate projections of sea-level rise into coastal planning, they asked the National Research Council to make independent projections of sea-level rise along their coasts for the years 2030, 2050, and 2100, taking into account regional factors that affect sea level.

Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future explains that sea level along the U.S. west coast is affected by a number of factors. These include: climate patterns such as the El Nino, effects from the melting of modern and ancient ice sheets, and geologic processes, such as plate tectonics. Regional projections for California, Oregon, and Washington show a sharp distinction at Cape Mendocino in northern California. South of that point, sea-level rise is expected to be very close to global projections. However, projections are lower north of Cape Mendocino because the land is being pushed upward as the ocean plate moves under the continental plate along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. However, an earthquake magnitude 8 or larger, which occurs in the region every few hundred to 1,000 years, would cause the land to drop and sea level to suddenly rise.

Impacts of new routes and ports on spatial competition for containerized imports into the United States

Citation Information: Maritime Policy & Management: The flagship journal of international shipping and port research; Volume 39, Issue 5, 2012

DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2012.705027

Authors: Lei Fan, William W. Wilson & Bruce Dahl

Abstract: Major changes are occurring in the logistics of container shipping including growth in demands, increased ship size and development of new ports and routes to serve the US market. The Panama Canal is in the process of being expanded and potential exists for shipping through the Northwest Passage in addition to new ports being developed on the West Coasts of Canada and Mexico. All these alternatives are expected to compete with the US logistics system. The purpose of this paper is to analyse prospective impacts of these changes on the container flows for shipments to the US markets. A spatial network flow model of the logistics for containerized imports into the United States is developed. It includes ocean shipping in different size vessels operating as strings, port handling, congestion costs and rail shipping. The base model calibrates well with historical shipments through ports and the interior rail system. Then, we analyse impacts of new ports and routes on the US system.

Catching the Right Wave: Evaluating Wave Energy Resources and Potential Compatibility with Existing Marine and Coastal Uses

Citation Information: Kim C-K, Toft JE, Papenfus M, Verutes G, Guerry AD, et al. (2012) Catching the Right Wave: Evaluating Wave Energy Resources and Potential Compatibility with Existing Marine and Coastal Uses. PLoS ONE 7(11): e47598. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047598

Abstract: Many hope that ocean waves will be a source for clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy, yet wave energy conversion facilities may affect marine ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms, including competition with other human uses. We developed a decision-support tool to assist siting wave energy facilities, which allows the user to balance the need for profitability of the facilities with the need to minimize conflicts with other ocean uses. Our wave energy model quantifies harvestable wave energy and evaluates the net present value (NPV) of a wave energy facility based on a capital investment analysis. The model has a flexible framework and can be easily applied to wave energy projects at local, regional, and global scales. We applied the model and compatibility analysis on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada to provide information for ongoing marine spatial planning, including potential wave energy projects. In particular, we conducted a spatial overlap analysis with a variety of existing uses and ecological characteristics, and a quantitative compatibility analysis with commercial fisheries data. We found that wave power and harvestable wave energy gradually increase offshore as wave conditions intensify. However, areas with high economic potential for wave energy facilities were closer to cable landing points because of the cost of bringing energy ashore and thus in nearshore areas that support a number of different human uses. We show that the maximum combined economic benefit from wave energy and other uses is likely to be realized if wave energy facilities are sited in areas that maximize wave energy NPV and minimize conflict with existing ocean uses. Our tools will help decision-makers explore alternative locations for wave energy facilities by mapping expected wave energy NPV and helping to identify sites that provide maximal returns yet avoid spatial competition with existing ocean uses.

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